A Sunday Thought


It’s been a long, hard week.  Cold and depressing and the world creeps every closer to war.

This may seem an odd time to post this, but I think it’s always appropriate.  This is my contribution of positive energy into the world today.

 

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Fly Over the Rainbow & Don't Worry, Be Happy Photo Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Fly Over the Rainbow & Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Photo Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

The Magic of Folk Music


Today’s post is dedicated to the folk music movement that enjoyed great popularity in the 60’s and 70’s. I grew up listening to the Beatles and Pete Seeger.  The Beach Boys and Arlo Guthrie.  So as you can see, it was Rock and Folk back then. Folk music is the music of the people. It’s lyrics deal with poverty, injustice and suffering.

 

I went to a Pete Seeger concert and took my husband, we sat in the grass and the entire audience sang with the band and the birds joined in with enthusiasm. We felt connected to every other person we could see. Pete has passed now but the beauty of his music endures.

 

Folk music deals with the lives of  “the masses”. The lyrics dealt with the coal miners, the railroad workers, the poor and the ill. It deals with those who are out of work and hungry. Those children who quit school to go to work to prevent the family from starving.

 

It also celebrates every life, big and successful or small and difficult. Folk music sees us all as equal and essential to the life of this planet. We are all one human species, and dwell upon this planet without borders. What effects you, effects me even if I don’t realize it. I am sure you know many of these songs and I hope you might enjoy singing along.

 

There is no difference between religions, skin color, ethnicity or how much money you have. It may seem like there are differences, but there aren’t inside where “we really live.”  Inside we are all the same, the children of God. We have bodies that work the same and we are all loved by the Divine. Folk music promotes peace and the atrocities of war. I hope you enjoy my offering today.

 

 

PovertyisAWeaponofMassDestruc

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khalil Gibran's heart

 

 

WeCon

 

 

photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

HarmPosi

I Still Believe in Peace…


This weekend, Friday and Saturday — Valentine’s Day — is the 70th Anniversary of the Fire Bombing of Dresden, Germany, by the Allies in World War II.

The decision to totally destroy German cities in World War II was not an easy one for Allies to make. But millions of people had died at the hands of the Nazis, not only Jews, but Poles and Roma and many had lost their lives resisting the Nazis.  At a certain point, the Allies felt that devastation in retaliation was the only option left.

As  you know, I am a pacifist.  The reason I am blogging this today is because things are getting increasingly tense and fraught with the danger of a third world war.  I think that the benefits of diplomacy and the use of sanctions need to be supported and recognized.  We don’t always have to jump into war.

I see no way  we could have avoided World War II, but we cannot allow the same circumstances to happen again.  We must remember the lessons of the past and not allow situations in this world to come to a point where War is the only way to protect people.

While the video below, originally posted at Renegade Tribune, is difficult to watch, let it be a reminder of the horrors that await us if Peace fails.

Some days, we all need some humor. I have over a foot of snow here. So you get humor!!!

More people died in the fire bombings of Dresden on February 13th to 14th, 1945 than in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

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Let Peace Begin with Me

The Dove of Peace.

The Dove of Peace.

Poverty


A few days ago, I wrote about the 1% of the world’s richest people having one half of the world’s money. Definitely doesn’t seem fair. There are a lot of middle class people in the world and they really work hard to be in this niche. Most are poor and/or extremely poor. They live through hopelessness and despair. Some are destroyed by these emotions.

 

What is poverty anyway? It is more than not being able to buy your child an ice cream cone in June. It is putting cardboard in the bottom of their too small shoes. It is wondering how you will feed your family through the end of the paycheck, and wondering if you can afford needed medication.

 

What is abject poverty? It is not having clean water so that you gamble with each drop not to get Cholera. It is dressing children in rags the rich wouldn’t use to dust their houses. Abject poverty is a mother that is so malnourished she can’t suckle her babies. Babies die from hunger. Is is neglect? It is horrifying to see a baby die from dehydration and malnutrition. The mother still has to go on to do what she can for the rest of her children.

 

Abject poverty is having no education, so you cannot have hope. Hope is what kept the prisoners in the concentration camps alive…at least until their number was up. Hope is what you wear when your country is at war, or there is a civil war. Can you take your family and run? No, not really. Many tried during WWII and were executed. In the nineties, the Baltic War robbed citizens of food, water, and even lives.

 

What happens usually is that people see the homeless and the hungry and many look away. They decide that what they saw wasn’t real. The homeless and the hungry people are lazy and are taking advantage of other people, people will say.

Many years ago I discovered this: people don’t want reality, they want pretty. I decided to begin random acts of kindness. Just doing something kind for someone who doesn’t ask, but it is needed. I have been questioned often, by by-standers.

 

I have heard, “don’t give your money away, they probably have more than you do”. I answer that that would not matter. What matters is the kindness and gentleness you show.

 

We as a species are getting a little smarter. We always used to send food. Now we send seeds and volunteers who will show villages how to plant, cultivate and harvest those seeds. Instead of sending money, there are organizations where for a donation of $15-$20, a family receives a cow, sheep or goat. The milk will feed the children and they will go to bed at night with full bellies. Just like we do every night.

 

The next time you see a person or a family who is obviously poor, meet their eyes. Look into their souls and see a brother or sister, a fellow human being. Just like we are, except we have more money than they do. Does it cost us to care about the poor? No. It makes us better people. People who walk their talk. It also gives us peace and a sense of well-being.

 

Neuroscientists say that the brain is changed by the traumas and horrors it survives. The brain rewires around the damaged areas. This is oversimplified, but tragedy makes us turn into different people. Love, caring, assistance changes people too and brings them a sense of inner peace.

 

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The poor suffer in ways we can’t even imagine. They can’t even get medical care when they need it. So the next time you see a poor person, or a person on a fixed income, try a random act of kindness and watch how their eyes light up. It has nothing to do with religion or faith, kindness and compassion are part of a human’s basic character.

Namaste

 

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Botanical Gardens Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Botanical Gardens
Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

 

 Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

 

 

No place for anger within us.

No place for anger within us.

 

It’s Time to Start Livin’


Stop a moment.  Let your heart dance and take a good look around and see all the blessings in the world, and all the beauty that surrounds you.  We will get Peace.  We will find Joy.  We will have Justice and Equality.  It may not come today, or tomorrow, but if we keep working for it, I know that, as surely as the sun will rise in the morning, it will come.

In the meantime, keep living for today — or start living, as recommended by this song from the wonderful musical Pippin, sung by the inimitable Martha Rae

Namaste,

Barbara

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Where is Unity and Peace?


Unity, the ability to come together in harmony and compassion. Unity brings with us peace that flowers within us and then flows out into our worlds. Is Peace possible without unity? I don’t really think so. Perhaps this is why peace comes and goes in our lives.

 

So, let’s look at unity. Unity is not everyone thinking alike. Or as they are told to think. I believe that Unity is a process where we come to really know one another, our deepest selves. Within Unity, we find differences of education, race, religion or no religion. We see people with different dreams. Unity can bring us together despite that I don’t look like you. I possibly don’t think like you. I don’t, perhaps, dream like you.

 

Unity is people, whoever they are, coming together for a common goal. With all that is happening here and around the world between me, you and the other people, we need to know that each attack, each death brings us together. There have been two recent times of extreme love, compassion, forgiveness and kindness in America. Twice we have recently come together out of shock, horror and unbearable pain. One was Pearl Harbor, which effected my immigrant father more than I realized. The other was 9-11 and I don’t think I have to discuss this one.

 

Pain, tragedy, suffering pulls people together. Hitler found this out. There have been, there are, and there will be evil in the world. At least until we fix all of the problems humans are dealing with. When there is huge amounts of evil in the world, the events which effect humans are put into their proper importance.

 

I had a horrific migraine yesterday and it was hard to get past the pain. But today, with the pain mostly gone, what matters to me is sleeper cells, the homeless people, the war on women and the journey to truth and peace.

Focus on the positive

Focus on the positive

 

We need to remember that the most terrifying serial killer has a spark of goodness within. Divinity is in there. So suicide bombers, lone terrorists, and Jihadists who decapitate innocent people are barbaric, yet there is that one small drop of Divinity within. Are they harmful? Yes. Do they need to be found and punished? Yes. Does their existence mean we can’t have Unity and Peace? No, it does not. But it may seem that way at times. I think that is why we form connections to people we will never meet. And we become friends and care about them and want them to be happy and safe. Each of us has created a network of people with whom we are safe. Now, let us grow our networks, spilling peace out into the world.

 

Let’s celebrate every positive act we see. Let’s not take them for granted. Let us be sad for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and celebrate that no one else was killed and those who are guilty of this barbaric act were caught. It was barbaric. But people around the world are now working together to find these cells and stop the Jihadists from bringing more death to a world that has plenty without any help.

 

May we choose unity and peace and may we not hate “others”.  May we find forgiveness for those who hate and kill. May we live centered and in contact with our inner peace.

Namaste

 Bloggers 4 Peace

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Achieve peace with understanding.

Achieve peace with understanding.

Peace and Music


 

 

 

A Red Rose for those who have died in  War and for will in the Future

A Red Rose for those who have died in War and for will in the Future

                       Grown, Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Peace, justice and equality are what we want. When do we want it? Now. This compilation is as relevant now as it was in the 1960’s. There has never not been war. What have we accomplished…nothing. I am a proud pacifist. I do not think war ever fixes anything. What the world needs now is diplomacy, acceptance, concern and compassion. Be part of the new peace movement. Help save lives, one life saved might be your own. Namaste, Barbara